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Shari Redstone: Open for Business, but with Caution

Shari Redstone, the controlling shareholder of Paramount Global, is reportedly open to a merger or selling the company at the right price, a stance she has maintained for several years. Paramount Global, which owns assets like Paramount Pictures, the CBS broadcast network, streaming service Paramount+, and various popular channels, has been struggling amid declining revenue from cord-cutting, streaming losses, and rising interest rates. The company’s market capitalization has slumped to $7.7 billion, nearly its lowest valuation since the 2019 merger of CBS and Viacom.

Finding the right deal for shareholders has proven challenging due to market conditions. Paramount Global’s current market valuation makes transformative transactions difficult, and the company has explored options like merging or selling to another legacy media company. However, big media mergers have faced challenges, with shareholders often experiencing losses.

One option considered is a sale to Big Tech companies like Apple, Amazon, or Alphabet, which could benefit from Paramount Global’s content library and sports rights. Paramount+ has over 61 million subscribers, making it an attractive addition to existing streaming services. Regulatory concerns regarding the ownership of two broadcast networks may be addressed by divesting CBS.

If a sale to Big Tech or a partial sale to private equity doesn’t materialize, Redstone might explore merging or selling to another legacy media company, with Warner Bros. Discovery as a potential candidate. Redstone could also consider selling National Amusements, the holding company that owns the majority of Paramount Global’s voting shares. However, Paramount Global is reportedly not actively working with an investment bank on a sale and may wait for a shift in market conditions or regulatory considerations before pursuing a transformative deal.

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